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what is the difference between bpd and atypical depression ?

Hello everyone,

what is the difference between bpd and atypical depression?
How can someone have these two diagnosis?

I cannot tell them apart.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Look, none of us on here are psychologists, so our answers are going to be more in the line of making you feel more in control.  Whoever gave you these diagnoses must be more authoritative than any of us laypeople on here.  But I might be able to make you less worried about it.  Bipolar disorder is a very controversial subject in the field of psychology these days.  For various reasons, recent diagnostic manuals over the last few years have greatly expanded what was once considered one disease and has now been split into several.  Look at this way, which I find easier to understand -- there is still only one true bipolar disorder.  It's a psychosis, and has no known cause and no known cure.  As far as I know, the only treatment is medication specifically for it.  We used to call it manic depressive disorder, where you have periods of extreme energy and psychosis and periods of relative normalcy and periods of extreme depression.  The other bipolar diagnoses are not true bipolar, and many aren't even remotely related to bipolar disorder.  They're just names for depression that is manifested a certain way.  They are not psychoses.  They are treated exactly the same as any other depression, either in therapy or with medication or both.  Some of these diagnoses were developed so psychiatrists could get insurance coverage.  Most were developed to get patents on drugs.  But it's just depression as it's always been, just divided up into smaller categories.  Atypical depression is also depression that manifests itself in certain ways, but again, it is mostly only useful for drug patents and insurance reimbursement.  When depression does not benefit by the usual antidepressants or therapy, psychiatrists can use drugs approved for other uses, usually anti-seizure or anti-psychotic medications, to see if they will work.  Some doctors will use these first, because many doctors are not very bright and do whatever the pharmaceutical company salespeople tell them to do.  We tend to look at doctors at special people, but they're just like the rest of us -- some are good at their jobs and love their jobs and care about doing a great job and most aren't and don't.  So for you, if you're depressed, just know you're depressed and try and get better.  If you're psychotic, you need medication for that.  Good luck.
973741 tn?1342342773
Well, there are two types of bipolar.  There is the one most think of which is episodes of mania followed by deep depression and it cycles back and forth. Then there is atypical bipolar which doctors now recognize as not fitting directly into that tradition manic depressive mold.  Is this what you are talking about?
Actually, there are about 4 or 5 types now.  Only one is true bipolar, as I stated and as we have always known it.  Bipolar 2 and 3 and ad infinitem can be diagnosed by something as simple as feeling irritable much of the time or angry much of the time while not so the rest of the time.  All of us depressed people are like this, and if you've ever taken a test to diagnose this you'll see that it fits pretty much everyone.  The important thing is, the treatment for these other newer bipolars aren't different than the treatment for any other kind of depression, whereas the treatment for true bipolar is quite different.
Atypical bipolar is treated with the same medications that bipolar is treated with quite often.  A dear friend of mine has this diagnosis.  She has some things in common with Bipolar 1 but has an atypical diagnosis due to the differences.  She takes a medication that is a traditional bipolar medication as well as other medications.  I'm so glad they are making the effort to understand this disorder more, making categories within the diagnosis to best help each person that suffers.  

To the poster, tell us why you are asking this question.  By the way, some people do suffer depression but have occasional bouts of increased energy.  It's a fine line of whether they are having days in which they are less depressed and more capable of facing the day though than traditional mania.  So, am not sure what it is exactly you are talking about--  tell us more.  :>)
Not to belabor the point, but all depression can be treated with antipsychotics.  Partly this is due to marketing by pharmaceutical companies but partly because often the usual antidepressants don't work.  When that happens they turn to trying atypical antidepressants.  Some are helped, some suffer the terrible side effects of antipsychotics without being helped.  You have to try something, though.  The problems come when doctors start overdiagnosing, which is the case with bipolar today.  Suddenly, you have a ton of bipolar patients running around.  Usually coincides with a new drug on the market or the latest update of the diagnostic manual.  For those who are helped, it's a benefit; for those who aren't it can be a nightmare. As patients we have be vigilant and do our homework and keep our reason about us; I didn't and suffered the consequences.  Don't want anyone else to go through what I have.  Peace, Mom.
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